Who is Living and Laughing with Lou?
So I was thinking to myself, how will I start off our friendship in here in the substack house? Well sure, since nobody actually knows much about me, maybe a few words about Lou by Lou might be a fitting first piece. So here I am…..Me, myself and I! Where do I start? Well lists seem to be all the rage these days so I’ll make a list about Lou. That has a funny ring to it….but here’s ten things about me……Feel free to contribute your own ten things about you if you want in the comments below :) PS. I love taking photos! I just love capturing moments!
I’m go by Louise or Lou or Dee Dee (by my nieces and nephews) or that mad one…or that messer….or that one who loves tea….the list is endless. At the very start of the pandemic, I set up a Facebook page called ‘Living and Laughing with Lou’ and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. The page was set up as a way for anyone who might be feeling lonely or if they might be living alone or cocooning like me or gran, that they would feel a really strong connection stretching through the screen into their home to let them know I was there with and for them. Everyday I broadcasted two ‘Facebook Lives’, seven days a week. The first live would be at 11am and another at 8pm. The morning Facebook Live was a sort of lets have a cuppa and a chat…then as it caught attention a lot of children started watching it so I mixed it up between content for children to watch and engage with and chats over cups of tea. Aswell as a million random aspects thrown in for fun. Lets just say my inner child is always dying to get out and play so there was no stress involved. The evening sessions were more solemn yet lovely and relaxed. I would dedicate time to people who were worried about loved ones or anyone who was in hospital or feeling low. I would say prayers, play music, talk about some really deep stuff, while watching the sun set and then mix in granny having a chat with the Facebook family also before she fell asleep. Often I would be live for hours on end. From all that, there was no looking back. My Facebook family started small and has now grown beyond anything I could have ever imagined. Over 300,000 engage with the page each month and I am honoured and so grateful for all who step into my Facebook home and embrace all it represents. I’d love to meet you in there & nightly I do a Facebook live at 10pm GMT if you might like to join the extra messing x The link to this home is: www.facebook.com/livingandlaughingwithlou
2. I love tea….and loads of it. Most days there’s more tea in my body that blood pumping through my veins I reckon…yep my system runs on tea….oh and the odd coffee to mix it up ;)
3. I was a journalist for years in which I spent my days and nights at all sorts of events and occasions. I loved my job writing as I got to time spend with so many different people from different walks of life. That’s myself and Paolo Nutini back in the day having the craic. Great times! :)
What I didn’t do very well was prepare for my deadline every Monday (because once I met people, I ended up spending hours with them) so instead of writing as I went, I would write all the way through the night on Sunday ahead of my cut off point. Yes a madness of sorts but it worked and I never missed a deadline and having to contribute to such a wide range of stories from council meetings, community events, football matches, weddings, and the list goes on, working all night through to morning was the only way I could face so many words. Yes I was at many opening of envelopes too haha ;) Ticked that one off the list ;)
4. Back to the tea fascination, not only do I love tea. I believe it is the answer to all questions. No matter the problem or conundrum, the answer is always tea. If you are not sure, if you need a little lift or maybe you are fed up, go hit that kettle and make yourself a nice mug of the good stuff, I promise you, within that time frame, things always become clearer.
5. I ran my own company whereby I managed artists, musicians, entertainers and an array of creative people. I helped them see the gift within themselves & had the time of my life. I helped them with their PR and marketing and oversaw the development of their careers. I considered it an honour to be part of their team & I fell in love with them all too. So many amazing gorgeous people entered into my life during this chapter of my life. So many high points from festivals, touring, tv appearances, radio tours and of course the gigs. The arts is where my heart beats so happily. I’ve been very lucky to work in lots of different aspects of the arts and entertainment industry & count myself blessed to have made so many good friends down through the years. This is a photo of one of my leaving do’s from the time I spent in the Arts Office in Westmeath! I just smile looking at all these wonderful people, a family of beautiful souls!
6. I’m a huge rugby fan and for many many years I travelled around Europe supporting the Irish rugby team. So many great friends made and I even created a radio documentary on the closing down of Lansdowne Road (Ireland’s home ground) in 2006 and luckily landed in with all the team and family for a number of amazing fun filled nights of memories, fun and magic. Those friendships have lasted a life time….I’m that Christmas card sending friend ;) Below is my quiet self being interviewed for French TV at the Rugby World Cup back in 2009….I’ve calmed my personality a lot since this haha ;) Only messing, who’s got the face paints? ;)
7. One of my first jobs I had when I was ‘young’ was to become a waitress in a restaurant locally to me. I absolutely loved this job and stayed working there around my school year and then college too. It was called ‘Mother Hubbards’. It was a truck stop and restaurant and it used to be the absolute bees knees for people to visit. Every walk of life stopped in Mother Hubbards. Whether you were a farmer with your welly boots, a trucker travelling to Dublin Port, two friends meeting for a three hours catch up or a business person holding a meeting, Mother Hubbards was where people just couldn’t pass. The food was lovely, plain and simple but there is no doubt people stopped in MH for the fun. Staff and customers were of one. I learned so much about people during this time & I’ll always be very grateful for my time serving people in this way & equally working as a team.
8. I moved in with my gran when she broke her hip on Christmas eve in 2018. Gran underwent a huge six hour operation whereby she was awake for her whole surgery. She was 105 at the time and when we arrived into the hospital the surgeon on call said he was a shoulder specialist and was afraid to operate on a woman who was 105 as it was Christmas eve and he didnt want to lose her. Gran heard this and called him in and said, is my age a worry. He politely replied ‘yes I’m just anxious that you might not be able for it’. At that gran said, “if I told you I was just 70 would you feel better.”. He replied ‘yes that would make a huge difference”. Ok so, I’m 70 now and not a day over”. And that was the end of that. Gran received the surgery, a gamma nail placed in her hip and four weeks later she was whizzing up and down the halls of Tullamore Hospital like a 70 year old.
9. A lesson I’ve learned down through the years but I finally understand is that you will never be that dreamed up ideal version of yourself that you have in your head. Instead I’ve learned that being my natural self is the version I love best. See the authentic self is not trying. We are just being us. Exactly as we were meant to be. Of course that doesn’t mean being an arrogant fool and saying ‘oh this is me’. No it means trying to be the best version of yourself and being happy and at peace with yourself and all your flaws. See the flaws are not flaws in the eyes of those who love us. They are the rough edges to a sculptors finest piece, they are the rough work in einsteins notebook and they are the real human elements that other people feel closer to you because of them. See flaws are not flaws. They are the make up of our authentic self so be you, and be proud of you! I promise you, you will be happier from the minute you accept you and start a new life of living your best life!
10. I’m obsesssed with the sky. Whatever is happening up there, you can guarantee I’m looking up at it. The sun, the moon, the stars, the clouds….all of it I absolutely love and am obsessed with. Everytime I look up at it I see something different and I’m just in complete awe of it. The sky has been an obsession of mine all my life and from that, I formed a little life motto around it which goes like this no matter what happens in life, ‘KEEP LOOKING UP’. It’s in these three words that my Facebook family now define me & in turn they have taken my little motto into their hearts and when things go wrong or someone needs a little encourgement, we all lean on the line ‘Keep Looking Up!’
Thank you so very much for reading the whole way down to the bottom of this list! Did I mention that I’m officially keeping you forever now? I will continue this list messing in the near future because not only was it fun but it gave me a lift. And see anything that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside is a winner for me. If you might like to try this, do let me know how you feel after you’ve formulated a list about you! I promise you will feel warm and fussy inside too! Sometimes we need to remind ourselves about all the things we have achieved whether a personal development in our being or just something we achieved along the road. We tend to keep all those bits packed up in our memory or brain and forget to remind ourselves of our personal wins whether big or small. Hope you had fun getting to know me better. I look forward to getting to know you better too! :)